Dwyane Wade’s recent play silencing any talk about balky knees

MIAMI — After falling two rebounds short of a triple-double, LeBron James playfully mentioned two teammates who took boards away from him on Monday night.

Ray Allen seemed to sport an apologetic look after his grab, and Dwayne Wade … ?

"D-Wade knew what he had going on, too, that’s why he was like, ‘I need this double-double,’ " James said after the Miami Heat defeated the Detroit Pistons 102-96. "He had a heck of a game though."

He sure did.

Wade finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his second straight superb outing. The All-Star starter scored 22 points in a win at New York on Saturday night.

A season-high in rebounds gave Wade his second double-double to go with the 21 points and 12 assists in a home win against Phoenix on Nov. 25.

Heat vs. Pistons

Against the Pistons, Wade played in his fourth game since returning from a four-game absence to rest his ailing knees. He came off the bench in his return against San Antonio on Jan. 26 before starting against Oklahoma City, New York and Detroit.

"Since I got back, I’ve just been trying to find ways to be aggressive," Wade said. "Also, as I said after the Knicks game, Coach (Erik Spoelstra) has done a good job putting in a solid package where I can be aggressive with and without the ball."

Spoelstra’s recent plan has called for more high pick-and-rolls when Wade’s in the game. Among other things, it helps the guard see the floor better.

"It helps me a lot. I’m like a quarterback, I need to see everything in front of me," said Wade, who also had a team-high six turnovers. "I’m able to be aggressive for myself but also see where my shooters are, where my big guys are rolling.

"I’ve made adjustments and played out of the corners and all these things as well, but where I love to play is at the top."

Wade hit 13 of 19 shots against Detroit to give him 23-of-34 shooting the past two games, in which he played 71 total minutes.

Clearly, Wade’s knees have been cooperating.

"That all comes when I have strength in my legs," he said of his midrange shooting. "I’m able to raise up and shoot with confidence and not have to jump off one leg."

James said he can tell when Wade’s legs are feeling well.

"We should all be able to tell if he has a bounce in his step of not," said James, who finished with 24 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

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"This last week or so he’s had a bounce in his step. When he’s landing on two feet on his jumpshots, he’s Euro-stepping, his knee’s feeling pretty good. Those are two indications how’s he feeling for me personally, and he’s done that the last two games.

The Euro-step move involves picking up the dribble, taking a step in one direction before quickly taking a second step in another direction. It’s something Wade has trouble doing when his knees are flaring up.

Now, he and the Heat hit the road for six straight games — with the All-Star break four games in — before returning to Miami to play the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 23.

That’s almost three weeks away from AmericanAirlines Arena, where Wade has an ideal conditioning and treatment environment.

"We’ll figure out how to maintain it on this next trip, but he’s been able to work out, strength train, condition, and get a lot of court work," Spoelstra said. "All that work has been paying off."

Like on Monday night, when Wade was able to steal a rebound from King James.

"Yeah, I took it from him," Wade said. "I was going for a double-double. Sorry."

You can follow Charlie McCarthy on Twitter @mccarthy_chas or email him at mac1763@bellsouth.net.